Monday 21 May 2018

Kim's nuclear u-turn

North Korea's pledge on weapons development should be taken with a pinch of salt, says Nicola Smith

In this photo provided last Tuesday by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps while watching a performance of a Chinese art troupe with his wife Ri Sol Ju, left, and Song Tao, right, head of the ruling Communist Party’s international department, at East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo: AP
In this photo provided last Tuesday by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps while watching a performance of a Chinese art troupe with his wife Ri Sol Ju, left, and Song Tao, right, head of the ruling Communist Party’s international department, at East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo: AP

Nicola Smith

On the face of it, North Korea's surprise announcement yesterday to suspend its nuclear and missile tests and shut down its atomic test site showed that Kim Jong-un is making the right gestures ahead of next week's summit with Moon Jae-in, South Korea's president.

Kim's six-point suspension plan, including a pledge not to transfer nuclear weapons or technology, was released early yesterday by the KCNA, the official state mouthpiece.

The move was welcomed by South Korea as "meaningful progress for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula". Britain described the announcement as "a positive step" and Donald Trump said it was "very good for North Korea and the world".

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